2012.07.11 Those odd car ads just keep getting stranger

Written by David Green.


I’m not sure why I’m still checking out used vehicle ads. I’m probably set for many years after my purchase of the barely used Polish Buick (named after its assembly location in Hamtramck) back in February. 

Nonetheless, I still enjoy reading the occasional odd ad, even if I’m not in the market. Many times, the story is more interesting than the car.

Take, for instance, an ad for a 1970 Pontiac Grand Prix. “It’s my old high school car,” the ad begins. “I bought it back 10 years ago to finish with my son, but too busy to finish.” So not only does the son still not have a finished car to drive, he also apparently hasn’t had much father-son time in the last 10 years. 

Someone else with a 1962 Chevy truck for sale says, “I built with plans to paint it later. After 10 years of plowing and wood hauling, it still needs that paint.” At least it runs.

There seems to be a bunch of owners too busy or too lazy to work on their vehicle. The owner of a 1966 Olds Toronado says it “needs new owner, sick of working on it.”

Someone selling a 1976 Chevy Corvette gives this excuse: “Car needs love I can’t give it now.” I almost feel sorry for it.

Another person trying to unload a 1957 Chevy Bel Air says he’s “lost the passion and wife says she wants the garage space.” Goodbye, Bel Air.

Some ads just make me scratch my head in puzzlement, like the person selling a 1979 Chrysler New Yorker. “Has not been driven for the last seven years,” claims the owner. “It started up last summer, I haven’t had time this year to try.” 

That’s funny. You managed to find a few minutes to take a photo and place an ad, but can’t find the time to see if it will start? You’re asking $2,500, Maybe if it started, you could get $3,000.

Then there’s the case of the owner of a 1971 Ford Maverick who says, “not a car you see much.” That’s true, most of them that didn’t rust away to nothing were crushed and recycled into tuna cans years ago.

Another ad for a 1961 Bentley S2 Drop Head Coupe claims that “once completed, this car will be worth a lot of money.” Sounds good, but the owner is already asking $95,000 and you have to finish a restoration on it. How much does the owner think it will be worth after you put well over $100,000 into it?

I’m still trying to figure out why the owner of a 2010 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 mentions the fact that the “car goes with me sometimes to Frankenmuth.” Do you suppose the car helps him or her pick out Christmas decorations at Bronner’s? Maybe if it’s good, they go enjoy a couple of those chicken dinners at Zehnder’s that Frankenmuth is famous for before they go home.

Or there’s the person advertising a 1998 Mercedes Benz: “Bucket list accomplished!” claims the ad copy. Do they mean the buyer will fulfill their wish of owning a Mercedes, or the seller their wish of getting rid of it?

If you’d like a vehicle with an interesting back story, someone is selling a 1970 Plymouth Satellite GTX formerly owned by daredevil Robby Knievel. Hopefully, he didn’t do too much ramp jumping with it.

Also available is a 1932 Ford signed by actor Paul LeMat of “American Graffiti.” Someone else has a 2004 Ford Mustang Jack Roush edition convertible signed by the NASCAR team owner in three places.

Or how about a 1985 Cadillac Eldorado “celebrity owned” by David Keith of “An Officer and A Gentleman.” What’s more, “when you come to buy the car, you will be able to meet David Keith.” 

There’s somebody sitting behind the wheel in the photo. Maybe it’s David Keith himself. If you’re going to pony up $17,000 for the Caddy, you might as well have him sign it, too.

Someone is advertising a 1983 Chevy truck with over 548,000 miles. “Driven regularly,” states the ad. I would agree with that.

On the flip side is a person with three vehicles, all with super-low miles. Take your pick. A 2003 Chevy SSR with only 21 miles, a 1974 Chevy Camaro with only 20 miles, or a 1990 Chevy SS pickup, just 3.3 miles in over 20 years. I wonder what he’ll buy with the money?

Finally, we have a 1999 Ford F250 truck with a Hiniker plow. “If that isn’t enough to keep up with your summer snow removal tasks,” the ad says, “it also has a salt spreader.” Who knows? Someday you might be glad you bought it. But probably not this month.

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